You’ve undoubtedly heard of Peter Rabbit™, Beatrix Potter’s mischievously loveable bunny who took the world by storm in the 1900s.
But did you know about New Zealand’s very own Peter Rabbit™ connection? Possibly not, because Peter’s House has been a special secret in Garston for a long time now.
Once upon a time, a rabbit dug a burrow under an old fir tree.
Thirty years ago, only those who crept under the spreading branches of the massive fir tree between the Presbyterian church and the Garston cemetery knew the secret. Someone had spotted an abandoned rabbit hole and put up a tiny sign — “Peter Rabbit’s House.” Then came a small washing line with delicate, knitted garments and, next, a lopsided bunny dunny.
Who put them up? It’s a bit of a mystery, but whoever it was, I hope they know how their whimsy brought smiles and that gradually more secret “rabbit paraphernalia” appeared.
Pumpkin Soup is an easy, hearty dish to cook in the cold months of winter.One thing I love to do is cook my soup and stews on our wood-burner stove. With the fire turned down low, it heats the house and at the same time, our dinner simmers for hours. The flavours merge and mingle and the soup or stew is tender and delicious.
Teaching at Garston School was never boring, and we’ve had a fair few “education adventures” over the years. One of the best was the wonderful week when we brought an old gold mining shanty town to life.
There’s nothing quite like crunchy, crisp apples straight from the tree. But if you ask your great-granny about her youth, I guarantee she’ll say, “Apples tasted better back then.”
And it’s true!
Since the 20th century we’ve let many old varieties of fruit and vegetables slip quietly into oblivion — and with them have gone taste… aroma…and diversity. Count up how many different apple names you can see on the supermarket shelves. You might see six, but years ago there would have been dozens throughout the country.
It’s both sad and dangerous for the environment that we’ve lost so much plant diversity in the last hundred years. That’s why we treasure the oldest tree on our farm.